, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 27-52
Date: 27 Jul 2013

Learning and Intending to Teach Evolution: Concerns of Pre-service Biology Teachers

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Introduction

The scientific community has accepted that evolution is a unifying theme in biology, just as Dobzhansky (1973) stated in his oft-cited article, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Yet this scientific theory has provoked much public discord around the world despite eight professional scientific organizations convening to issue a joint statement detailing their acceptance of evolution (Futuyma 1999), in addition to at least two science teacher organizations that have proclaimed their support for the teaching of evolution in public schools (NAS 1998). Scientists continue to teach that evolution is a central concept in natural sciences, yet many teachers do not understand or accept evolution as an explanation for the diversity of life on Earth (Alberts and Labov 2004; Brem et al. 2003; Miller et al. 2006; Verhey 2005).

Despite scientists’ acceptance of evolution as a central concept in biology, Moore (2000) found that only 57 % of teachers across t ...